Conor McGregor talks a mean game, and certainly, never appears to be short on confidence. But according to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s father, the former lightweight champ understands he’s in for beating at UFC 229.
Recently the UFC announced that McGregor will return to the Octagon on October 6th, and will challenge the undefeated Nurmagomedov for the 155 belt. For quite some time, McGregor never really went out of his way to verbally trash Nurmagomedov, although, when he was asked for his assessment of the vaunted grappler, he was pretty dismissive.
Well, recently Alexander Lyutikov spoke with Nurmagomedov’s father, and long time coach, Abdulmanap. According to Khabib’s pop, McGregor has only agreed to fight his son because of the truck load of cash he’s going to make (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“[Conor] will not earn the same money in any other fight,” Abdulmanap said. “Of course he understands that the five-round fight against Khabib will be a nightmare for him. He just has the puncher’s chance, but Khabib has never been knocked down. He’s never even been wobbled. I think Khabib’s chin is strong enough for the lightweight and welterweight divisions.
“Physically and tactically, Khabib is stronger than Conor. Khabib has better cardio than Conor and 100 percent Khabib has better wrestling and grappling. we will choke him out when we decide to do it. Of course, Conor’s left hand is very dangerous and he can throw the right uppercut. That’s all. Nothing else.”
Now, unless McGregor is one of the greatest actors on the planet, it’s hard to imagine that he truly believes he has next to no shot against Khabib. Leading up to his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, which most people understand he had little chance of winning, McGregor really did appear very confident.
Could it be case, however, where McGregor is much more concerned about Nurmagomedov’s abilities then he lets on publicly? Absolutely. But, it does seem like there’s a narrative out his camp that via his footwork, precision and booming left, he’ll be able to take Nurmagomedov out.
The latter’s dad also argued that there’s no way McGregor has been able to raise his wrestling game up to a point where he can handle Khabib. That’s almost certainly true. But, will Nurmagomedov be able to close the distance without eating a big shot? It’s going to be fascinating to find out.